In previous posts, we discussed the Courage to change what we can and the Serenity to accept what we cannot change. In this post, we will discuss the Wisdom to know the difference between what we can and cannot change.
This might seem like common sense: there are certainly things that no one can change, and there are certainly things that anyone can change, right? But things might not always be as obvious as they may seem.
If you arrive late to work due to an accident, is that something you can or cannot change? Typically this would be considered something outside our control. We weren’t involved in the accident, we couldn’t prevent it, and we cannot control the flow of traffic. These things are all outside of our control.
However, there are aspects of this situation that are within your control. Did you check the traffic before you left? Did you plan alternate routes in case the road was blocked or delayed? Did you leave early enough to still arrive on time if something happened on the way? All of these things are in your control and can help make sure you get to work on time.
In this example, it initially looks like the situation is not inside our control, but much of it really is inside our control. Wisdom makes the situation clear and identifies areas we can change for a better outcome next time. Wisdom identifies some things are not in our control – like how family, coworkers, friends, etc. respond to what we say or do.
This wisdom is critical in making positive change. Imagine the frustration that can happen without it! We can try and try and try to make changes with no progress! Or worse, we can ignore critical areas of our lives or situation that only we can change, keeping us stuck! Wisdom with courage creates forward momentum, and wisdom with serenity allows a sense of freedom and acceptance from worrying about what he have no say over.
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